FAR ROC [For a Resilient Rockaway] is a two-phase design competition that will explore innovative strategies for the planning, design and construction of a resilient and sustainable development at Arverne East, an 80+ acre site on the Rockaway Peninsula. In recent years, the relationship between the built and the natural environment has been dramatically affected by climate change, severe storm events, and rising sea levels. The extensive damage to low-lying waterfront zones caused by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 reinforced the need for resilient infrastructure and redevelopment strategies for existing coastal communities throughout the greater New York area. Costly damage to buildings, roads, and utility systems by the storm raises the controversial question of whether areas of particular geographic vulnerability should be rebuilt, maintained and defended, or simply abandoned.
With these and other questions in mind, and given the scarcity of land and the significant need for housing and economic development in outlying areas of New York City, the FAR ROC design competition was organized to solicit creative ideas for resilient development strategies that can be implemented not only in the Rockaways but also throughout New York City and in vulnerable communities everywhere.